Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Water: Green Infrastructure

O&M and Green

O&M and Green:
Best Practices for Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance

Topic Overview

Sound operations and maintenance (O&M) practices are central to ensuring the long-term success of any green infrastructure investment. Maintenance concerns often center on best practices for preserving the hydrologic and water quality functions of green infrastructure. However, administrative and social considerations also play a large role. Who will maintain green infrastructure on private property? How can one ensure green infrastructure practices remain functional through the transfer of property from one owner to another? This webcast will provide a general overview of best practices to consider when creating a green infrastructure operations and maintenance plan. Speakers will also cover specific lessons learned from early adopters of both regulatory and incentive approaches to insuring proper O&M on both public and private property.

Maintaining the Rain (in Milwaukee) that Stays Mainly on the Plain:
Karen Sands, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD)

Karen Sands will address Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's (MMSD) evolving approach to maintaining green infrastructure investments. MMSD, a regional agency covering 28 municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin, is a national leader in green infrastructure implementation. Karen will discuss the development of O&M policy and practice at MMSD.  MMSD started with little "on the books" O&M policy, but recently developed requirements for maintenance plans in project proposals as well as deed restrictions in capital-funded project agreements. In addition, she will talk generally about municipal green infrastructure O&M practices that MMSD's 28 municipalities follow.
O&M 101: Strategies to Improve Stormwater BMP Operations and Maintenance: 
Bill Hunt, Professor and Extension Specialist, North Carolina (NC) State University

Bill Hunt will address basic strategies to maintain green infrastructure performance over time, including how to consider economies of scale as well as projected maintenance costs when developing an operations and maintenance plan. Hunt will also share NC State research comparing construction and maintenance costs for a variety of typical BMPs, including detention ponds, constructed wetlands, bioretention, and sand filters.


Karen Sands is the Manager of Sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). In support of MMSD's mission, Karen's sustainability responsibilities encompass green infrastructure, energy planning for conservation and renewables, and climate resiliency. With about 25 years of planning experience, Karen has held a number of positions in both the public and private sectors. Karen received a bachelor's degree in geography and a master's degree in regional planning from the State University of New York at Albany. She is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, has a certificate in public participation from the International Association for Public Participation, and serves on the executive board of Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail.

Dr. William F. ("Bill") Hunt is the leader of the Stormwater Engineering Research Group in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at NC State University. He is actively involved with Best Management Practices (BMP) demonstration, applied research, and training, including conducting 20-25 workshops and training events per year across the country. Bill is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), where he has many committee leadership roles. In 2011, Bill was named an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and is currently a CUGE Research Fellow for Singapore National Parks. Bill has two B.S. (Civil Engineering and Economics) and one M.S. (Biological and Agricultural Engineering) degrees from NC State. Hunt received his Ph.D. from Penn State in 2003.

Jump to main content.